Have you ever felt like God was saying "hey, you, would you just fully trust in me? I want to work big!! I want to show myself to you in ways you wouldn't be able to imagine. I WILL show myself in ways that you wouldn't be able to imagine!! Please, wont you just let me work?"
Well, those moments happen often in my life, more often than I want to admit. Probably because I am so good at saying "the right stuff" in the moment and feeling like I've got it under control. Can I type the truth here, I'm probably not alone? Yeah, I know I'm not alone.
As I study God's Word and truly dig into what the pages mean, the story behind what is happening, and the God who is trying to get His truths across, I am almost always immediately blown away at the lack of faith, trust, and hope "those people in the Bible times" had in a BIG GOD.
I mean, the Israelites, yeah, they were so messed up, right? Idols, sexual sins, grumbling (over and over), looking to other people and things. The kings, David, the first churches that had drama..."those people".
Until I am brought to my knees in a super humble realization that I am so beyond what God desires. I am missing out on so many blessings HE has for me, because of my lack of faith. My lack of trust. My lack of ultimate HOPE in what HE desires.
The last 6 months of my life have been about trust. Trust beyond what I desire. Trust beyond what I thought I needed. Trust beyond what I thought I could possibly trust. It was a scared trust. Knowing that ultimately our finances, a new company, fully putting my husband at the lead of our marriage was not going to be because of me or anyone else...but God.
Now, I am at a new point in my "trust journey".
Sitting here, knowing the only next steps are HIS.
How we get paid, how we pay others, what jobs we get or don't get...they are all HIS.
I am slowly making a transition from trusting God to having HOPE in Him. In HIS plan.
Not a word I have ever been truly drawn to. It seemed like such a wishy-washy word. A word you throw in when you FEEL like you should trust. "I really hope we will be able to get a new car next year." "I really hope I pass this test."
Not a word I truly understood or cared to understand for that matter...until recently. At a women's gathering, God put it on my heart. I wrote it down. I sat on it for a little bit. I wondered why I was drawn to that word, HOPE. So, finally I looked up the definition. I looked for the biblical references. I exhausted my googling resources on that word. Here is where God took me:
1) to desire with EXPECTATION of obtaiment
2) to expect with confidence; trust
1) archaic: trust, reliance
2) a desire accompanied by EXPECTATION of or belief in fulfillment; also expectation of fulfillment or success
My journaling that day, at that womens gathering, that has come back today, at a time where God is asking me to not just trust but to take it to a deeper level...to HOPE.
Can I be HOPEFUL knowing God has it? Knowing God is taking us there. Knowing the process is something to be enjoyed. The struggle is something to be embraced.
God, help me to see the HOPE in where you have us. Help me to see the HOPE in where you are taking us. Help me to have, feel, be HOPE in the present. Where there is uncertainty regularly. When it doesn't seem there is much to what we are doing. God help me to know even in the depths of my soul, you are preparing me for something great. You are leading me to a path heading to you.
God help me to see THAT as my HOPE and what I encounter along the way as preparation for that.
For Your future plans.
Jesus be my strength. Be there and show me how to come with expectation of your greatness. Come with an expectation as to what You desire to accomplish in the everyday.
And that is what I needed. That HOPE God put on my heart 2 months ago. That place of knowing God's REALLY asking me to trust...like more than just trust, but come to Him with an EXPECTATION of obtainment. Come to Him expectantly. Thank Him for what He WILL do...no matter what that will be.
Ahhh, these times of trust. These times of HOPE. Where would I be without them? Thank you Jesus for those places.
"Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Monday, November 10, 2014
While going through one of life's recent challenges I was searching. I was angry, confused, and bitter. My soul knew deep down I didn't want any part of these feelings. My flesh has a tendency to fight for justice, and it's not a bad thing...in general. However, I want to confront, argue, and defend when I feel someone is being treated unjust.
As I was wrestling and talking it out, our pastor suggested writing a "psalm". I have to be honest, it hit me as the cheesiest idea I had heard and brushed it off. Until one night I felt as if I couldn't shake my feeling of bitterness. I couldn't help but open my notes app and start writing. Here is what came out:
Psalms of Annie 1:1
So, I know deep down in my soul you are incredibly powerful. I know deep down in my soul that you have amazing, amazing, life changing ways.
I know God you want me to be deeply connected to you. To be intentional dependent on you. To be undoubtedly, instinctually crying out to you, desiring your will at every turn.
God I know I want that. I know just a speck of what that would mean in my life...in our relationship. Do I desire that? What would it look like to desire that?
God, I fall short. I plan. I react. I think. I speak. I get angry. I feel offended. All without you. All without seeking you. All without waiting for your direction. Why? Don't I really get why my deep desires and my quick-witted actions are so opposite.
I am thankful for that pastor who spoke that "cheesy" idea. I think I may continue my Psalms and may I suggest you try it?
*I am not trying to add to the Bible. Just recognizing David was a man, incredible and incredibly flawed man, who wrote and sang to God. Just doing the same.
Recently I changed the screensaver settings on our computer to filter through all our family pictures (I am sure many of you have done this). What I didn't expect was it to draw such a audience from my children (along with myself and my husband). I have had to "encourage" my children numerous times throughout the day to continue with their chores and not stand around the computer. I almost changed the setting back because I was getting tired of all the "encouraging" I was having to do in that area.
While studying Exodus 35-40 this week I was struck by how important it is to remember the past. How important it is to reflect on where God has brought His people. The Israelites had been saved from hundreds of years of slavery. They had encountered miracles that many of us won't see in our lifetime, been lead by amazing God-fearing leaders, provided for through incredible means, forgiven for turning their backs on the very God who lovingly supplied all of these things, and worked diligently on building a Tabernacle planned out by God.
After asking God to forgive them and go with them to the promise land, they got to work building the Tabernacle and finished it right before they celebrated the feast of the Passover. It had been an entire year since they were delivered out of Egypt. Can you imagine as they celebrated this feast the overwhelming feelings they had? Gratefulness? Humility? They had been slaves a year earlier. They had seen/gone through the 10 plagues. Their 1st born children were spared death. They had the waters part before them while escaping the Egyptians. Mana and water had miraculously and sufficiently been provided. Moses had been appointed leader. They had been forgiven for worshiping an idol. Had asked for forgiveness. Spent many hours working on building a Tabernacle for God. And sooo much more. Overwhelming just to think of the emotions facing them as they finished this tent and prepared for Passover.
As my children, husband and I have paused the last week to look through the pictures of our past we have laughed and cried at all the Lord has miraculously done, what He has delivered us from, what we have worked to build, and what He has provided our family. I am SOOO humbled. I am SOOO grateful. Words cannot describe the thankfulness I have toward all that God has done and the people He has brought into our lives.
As I pause to look back at another year (or 5, or 10, or 15) I pray that my feelings of gratefulness become deeper as I realize how God has directed us through each twist, turn, and event.
"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV)
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Saturday, June 1, 2013
Warning: I am NOT an eloquent writer, I just have thoughts (and many times they end up in parenthesis...sorry) that hopefully encourage you (or maybe make you shake your head and say "who gave that women a computer and how does she have any idea how to create a blog"). OK, I got that out.
"Wow...you are wonder woman."
That is the line I hear the most frequently these days (when I make it out of my house). After having the twins (I also have a 5 and 3 year old) and my husband leaving to work out of town during the weekdays, I welcomed ANY and ALL of these comments I could get. It fueled my fire, made me feel like no one else could do this...made me feel like I was something else.
UNTIL...one day I heard it and wanted to bawl. I wanted to shake the person that said it and tell them "I DON 'T want to be wonder woman and you probably don't REALLY want to either". I wanted to switch places with the person (after I ran them over with the double stroller they just called a limo), because after all their life had to be easier in some way than mine. I didn't want to do it all, stay strong, feed another baby, take on all the discipline with my preschoolers, and try to feed myself (ok, who's kidding...I keep myself fed on stress foods).
Have you ever heard the line "God won't give you more than you can handle"? That line is NOT found anywhere associated with the Bible. There are some major flaws in that theology (#1: that God gives us bad stuff...we could go round and round on that all day; #2: He doesn't want us to experience just enough to make us comfortable and then stop). God wants us to come to Him. God wants us to fully depend on Him and rely on Him for all of our needs.
I don't want to be Wonder Woman. I don't have to be Wonder Woman. I don't have to puff up when I hear people say "wow, better you than me" or "I certainly couldn't handle having my husband gone weekly". I don't want to rely on what I can handle or what is perceived of me to be able to handle.
I want to know that whatever I am going through, whether a blessing that's hard (these babies of mine ARE amazing blessings) or a trial that is unbearable, I can count on someone greater than me to help me. Someone greater than me to supply what I need. Someone greater than me who is present with me. Someone who is also hurting, struggling, and kneeling with me desiring to give me His help.
"Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen."
(Philippians 4:11-13, 19-20 ESV
My 3 and 4 (at the time) year old, meeting the twins.